Game On! (Part 2)

A warning to other bloggers out there: this is what happens when you promise your audience that you are going to write something groundbreaking based around a very specific subject, (and one you arrogantly think is yours and yours alone to write about), but instead you start prevaricating and writing blog posts about other things instead.

I have mentioned a couple of times in recent weeks my need to write about a theory that has been buzzing around my head for a while now: that console gaming is therapeutic. Well, an article from The Conversation has just popped up in my Facebook feed, and it says exactly what I should have done as few weeks ago. It would appear that my groundbreaking theory isn’t as groundbreaking as I had assumed. However, finding out that others have the same theory as you is comforting, this particular article makes for concise and genuinely interesting reading, had my head nodding enthusiastically in agreement (and my teeth grinding in frustration at my own laziness), and vitally, goes on to cite academic research published in April 2016.  The research, carried out by Leonard Reinecke of the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, states that when video games are systematically used after exposure to stressful situations and strain, that recovery experience is a significant facet of the gaming experience (Reinecke, 2016). Console gaming as therapy. Boom!

In terms of my own recovery from stressful periods, I concur absolutely. Were it not for Dragon Age II at an incredibly stressful period of my professional life, I would probably not be in the positive frame of mind I’ve been able to maintain for a few years. I’d also be lucky to be able to work at all. Skyrim got me through equally tough periods in my personal life, and on a smaller scale, I still always have a ‘go-to game’ in my PS4 in case I’ve had a trying day and need to let off steam and ‘ground myself’ again. This week, it’s mostly Elder Scrolls Online, though reading this back to myself, I really do need to find a genre of game that doesn’t involve swords, sorcery or picking flowers in order to make potions…

Reference:

Games and Recovery: The Use of Video and Computer Games to Recuperate from Stress and Strain (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232594932_Games_and_Recovery_The_Use_of_Video_and_Computer_Games_to_Recuperate_from_Stress_and_Strain [accessed Jul 10, 2017].

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